How Much Can I Earn While on SSDI in 2021?
If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you may wonder how much you can earn while still maintaining your eligibility. Understanding the rules surrounding earning income while on SSDI is crucial to ensure you don’t jeopardize your benefits. In this article, we will discuss the income limits, work incentives, and frequently asked questions about earning while on SSDI in 2021.
Income Limits for SSDI Recipients in 2021:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets income limits to determine how much you can earn while still receiving SSDI benefits. In 2021, the substantial gainful activity (SGA) threshold is $1,310 per month for non-blind individuals and $2,190 per month for blind individuals. If you earn above this threshold, you may no longer qualify for SSDI benefits.
Work Incentives for SSDI Recipients:
To encourage individuals with disabilities to return to work and become self-sufficient, the SSA offers various work incentives. These incentives allow you to earn income while still receiving SSDI benefits. Some of the work incentives include:
1. Trial Work Period (TWP): You can test your ability to work for nine months within a five-year period without losing your SSDI benefits.
2. Subsidy and Special Conditions: If you require special assistance or accommodations at work due to your disability, the SSA may not count the income derived from these subsidies when determining your eligibility.
3. Expedited Reinstatement: If you stop receiving SSDI benefits due to earning above the SGA limit, but your disability prevents you from continuing work, you can request expedited reinstatement of benefits within five years without reapplying.
4. Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE): You can deduct certain work-related expenses from your income, reducing the countable earnings and potentially keeping you below the SGA limit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Can I work while receiving SSDI benefits?
Yes, you can work while receiving SSDI benefits, as long as your earnings do not exceed the SGA limit set by the SSA.
2. How much can I earn without losing my SSDI benefits?
In 2021, the SGA limit is $1,310 per month for non-blind individuals and $2,190 per month for blind individuals.
3. What is the Trial Work Period (TWP)?
During the TWP, you can work for up to nine months within a rolling five-year period and still receive full SSDI benefits.
4. Can I continue receiving SSDI benefits if I earn above the SGA limit during the TWP?
Yes, you can continue receiving SSDI benefits during the TWP, regardless of your earnings, as long as you report your work activity to the SSA.
5. What happens after the TWP ends?
Once the TWP ends, you enter the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) for 36 months. During the EPE, you can still receive benefits for months where your earnings are below the SGA limit.
6. Are there any deductions I can make from my earnings while on SSDI?
Yes, you can deduct Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE) from your countable earnings, potentially keeping you below the SGA limit.
7. How do I report my earnings to the SSA?
You must report your earnings to the SSA regularly, either by phone, mail, or online through the “my Social Security” portal.
8. Will my SSDI benefits be affected if I receive additional financial assistance or subsidies at work?
The SSA may exclude certain subsidies or assistance from being counted as income when determining your eligibility for SSDI benefits.
9. Can I receive SSDI benefits if I work part-time?
Yes, you can work part-time and still receive SSDI benefits, as long as your earnings do not exceed the SGA limit.
10. What happens if I earn above the SGA limit and lose my SSDI benefits?
If you lose your SSDI benefits due to earning above the SGA limit, you have a five-year period to request expedited reinstatement of benefits if your disability prevents you from continuing work.
11. Can I receive SSDI benefits and retirement benefits simultaneously?
No, you cannot receive both SSDI benefits and retirement benefits simultaneously. However, once you reach full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will automatically convert into retirement benefits.
12. Are there any work incentives for blind individuals?
Yes, blind individuals have a higher SGA limit of $2,190 per month and access to additional work incentives to encourage their employment.
13. Can I work as a self-employed individual while receiving SSDI benefits?
Yes, you can work as a self-employed individual while receiving SSDI benefits, as long as your earnings do not exceed the SGA limit.
14. Can I receive SSDI benefits if I am working but earning below the SGA limit?
Yes, you can continue receiving SSDI benefits if your earnings are below the SGA limit, even if you are working.